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Sam Heflin wins Priceville mayoral race with 54 percent of vote

By Cassie Kuhn

For the Enquirer

Sam Heflin said he felt overwhelmed after learning he won 54 percent of the vote to defeat Joe Lubisco Jr. in the race to become Priceville’s first new mayor since 1986.

“I want to begin my term in office by extending a hand of friendship and cooperation to the elected council members. My hope is that our town comes together to support me, the council and one another going forward,” Heflin said.

Heflin said he spoke with Lubisco after the unofficial votes were tallied and thanked him for a “good, clean campaign.”

Lubisco, who received about 46 percent of the vote, said he called Heflin to congratulate him on his victory.

A total of 1,027 votes were cast, with Heflin receiving 549 and Lubisco receiving 478.

“Priceville, you made your voice heard today,” Lubisco said in a post to his campaign page. “I want to thank those of you who came out to vote today. I want to congratulate Sam Heflin on becoming the next mayor of Priceville.

“While this isn’t the outcome we wanted, now is the time to press into our community and continue to serve the great people of Priceville.”

Priceville resident Michael Price said he cast his vote for the candidate he felt was most focused on growing the community. “That means for the town council and the mayor and all to quit fighting and make some progress out here and see some growth by the interstate,” Price said.

Siblings Eva and Daniel Dickinson said their votes centered on the candidate they felt was willing to promote dialogue within the town of Priceville.

Eva Dickinson said she wanted candidates who were “focusing more on having a conversation and not just slogans.”

Daniel Dickinson said in addition to focusing on local issues, it’s important to him that the mayor of Priceville is willing to address problems facing the nation as a whole.

“These are very turbulent times, and there’s a lot of issues that we need to address: quarantine decisions, the tensions between police and Black Lives Matter,” he said. “I think being open to discussing that stuff and not just focusing on the town mindset was a really big factor for me.”

Mayor Melvin Duran did not run for re-election and is retiring after serving as mayor for 34 years. Duran’s son, Melvin Duran III, won the Place 3 council race with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

In Place 1, Ashley England defeated Patrick Banks with about 53 percent of the vote. The Place 2 race went to incumbent Charles Black, who received nearly 63 percent of the vote.

In Place 4, a runoff will be held between incumbent Tommy Perry and Chris Cartee, based on unofficial results. In Place 5, a runoff will be held between incumbent Donald Livingston and Patrick Dean.

Heflin’s salary will be $20,000 and will increase $1,000 each fiscal year.